Tenerife in Lockdown…what’s it like?

My brother texted me earlier this morning…are you confined to home he asked?…

Confined to home?

I’ve been home since last Saturday, 14th March, having come back from work at lunchtime I watched the news about how they were going to lockdown Spain on Monday morning at 0800 hrs, which they then changed to be Saturday night…that was it, I was inside.

Having been home a week today, I’ve been out once for a legal trip to the supermarket.

We’re only allowed to go food shopping, anything along the lines of medical requirements, going to work at one of the businesses that are legally allowed to be open, Ana, my wife is a vet nurse, so she goes to work, you’re allowed to do some banking as well and that’s about it…oh, and taking dogs out for a pee and a poo but literally out and back, no going for a run out or anything.

Personally, we’re not going out with the dogs, not even up the mountain where we never see anyone anyway, it’s better to stay in, our dogs are not hard done by anyway, they’ve got the garden and the terrace…they’re a lot better off than many dogs.

All of the schools here closed last Friday the 13th (Ohhh, I never thought about that – it must be an omen…Nooooo…Omen as well…aaagghhh…it’s a conspiracy…lol) and haven’t been back open since…all kids at home are being taught online and with most parents not going out…that’s probably quite hard for even the most well behaved kids.

Bars and restaurants closed last Saturday evening too and haven’t been allowed to open although they can do home delivery but I guess the customers have to pay by card and the delivery drivers leave the food on the doorstep…I don’t know how that works for complexes and apartment buildings…I suppose it’s left at the main entrance.

We’re only allowed one person in a car at a same time unless the person who’s also in the car is a child, an elderly person or a disabled person….fines for going against the law start at 600€ and go up to 1.000€.

I read today that Police are now setting up roadblocks to check any cars on the road to make sure that they’re out for legitimate reasons…if you’re a driver stopped by a road block, you’ll be checked for your reason to travel, but you can make it easier on yourself by having something written by your boss that allows you to travel, if you’re self employed, you’re sort of allowed to travel, but I assume you’ve got to have a good reason.

From today, no more than 15 people are allowed on a bus at the same time, each one sitting on a separate seat and you can only use the rear door of the bus to get on and off…oh and you can’t pay by cash, it has to be card, phone or their own prepaid bonus card.

When we go food shopping, we can only go on our own, no family outings…also some of the major supermarkets insist that you wear gloves and a mask inside and they’re limiting the amount of people that are allowed inside at the same time, so it’s one out and one in…

There are queues outside with people waiting to get in and when you’re inside and want to pay, the queues to the checkouts are squared off by tape on the floor, 1 metre apart and people have to stand in the queue in their boxes and move along one box at a time as people pay and leave the shop.

Taxis…you’re only allowed one passenger in a taxi at a time, so if it’s a family of four going to the airport, then you need 4 taxis…unless, I assume, it’s kids, elderly or disabled….and while we’re at it, let’s pity the poor taxi drivers who are taking a risk as well…here’s a friend of ours.

If you’re in hospital for any reason, you’re not allowed any visitors…even if you’re there for something other than the virus, we’ve got a friend who’s there just diagnosed with a brain tumor, it’s too late and nothing can be done and she’s dying…she’s not allowed any visitors, not even her husband is allowed in to see her…that’s sad.

All non-urgent surgeries have been cancelled as well because they might need the beds for virus patients, and they’ve said that if it gets bad and there’s a massive pile up of people with the virus, the doctors will have to decide who is the best candidate to survive and subsequently receive medical attention in hospital.

Some hospitals in Spain are running low on medical supplies and are resorting to using black bin liners as protection for our frontline workers.

Yesterday, the Canarian government have decided to close all hotels here and try to move on all of the tourists…the hotels have to be closed by Thursday 26th. I guess they’re doing this so that any ill tourists will be able to get their medical attention in their own country rather than use our medical resources which might be needed later.

The south airport was packed inside and outside yesterday.

After saying all of that, the Canary Islands are one of the least hit autonomous regions of Spain and as of this afternoon, 21st March 2020 we…as a total for the islands, had 334 active cases, up 57 from yesterday and of those recorded cases, 219 are here on Tenerife, an increase of 27 over the last 24 hours..

It’s certainly not all doom and gloom, although reading the above in isolation would suggest otherwise, but they’re seriously doing it for our benefit to stop the spread of the virus…although we still have the idiots that think it’s OK to just have a walk about…they’re now being fined and serving time inside jail.

With close to 20.000 confirmed cases in Spain and just over 1,000 deaths, Spain is the 3rd worst hit country in the world, following China and Italy…so our government are taking it very seriously.

Most of the public are too, especially over the last 2 days where 3 Guardia Civil officers have died from the virus, two without pre-existing health conditions and aged 38 and 39…and you’d think that at their age and being in the Guardia Civil, that they’d be reasonably fit too, the other one has just been announced, within the last hour in fact, and was aged 57 and was a work colleague of the 38 year old.

Well, onwards and upwards, in spite of the few idiots that still wander the streets thinking that it doesn’t apply to them, it’s bringing some communities together…cities are coming together on their balconies at 8pm Peninsular time, 7pm Canarian, every evening applauding the workers who are still working to keep some sort of semblance of normality here.

They’re all risking their health, whether they’re military, Police, health workers or supermarket workers…it’s all the same and they all deserve our praise…it shows you who really run the country.

Some communities are even playing bingo and doing exercise on their balconies…

Some officials have been filmed cheering up the crowds…

We’ve been like this for a week, we’ve definitely got another week to go and there’s talk about having another 2 weeks as well, apparently the government can only rule 15 days at a time otherwise they have to have it passed by government as a law, or something like that, but they may do another 15 days at the end of this 2 weeks, so we’re sort of ready for it..

Businesses and income is going to be affected for loads of people here and the effects could be quite long-term, with the hotels, bars and restaurants closing and all tourists sent home packing, tourism could be on the back burner for a period of up to 3 months.

Employees are being sent home and the way many employers run their businesses here, with either no or very dodgy contracts for employees, there will probably be very little help available from the government due the the fact that these people who’ve been made redundant “don’t work full time” and therefore haven’t paid enough into the social security system.

The effects could run very deep and families once again, could be at breaking point regarding income…it doesn’t seem that long ago that we recovered from the last major recession.

So, my thoughts are with those other countries who have yet to feel the full effects of the virus, try to stay inside as much as possible, stay healthy, don’t over shop, there’s no reason for the shops to be understocked and be thoughtful of the people around you and at home, and just to be clear, Tenerife is not full of the virus, it’s just that we don’t have the capacity to look after 100,000 foreign tourists that are here at any one time if they become ill, as well as those of us who live here some that are already ill, plus those that may get the virus.

Stay healthy guys…until the next one.